By Donna Cumming, Dinos Communications
(ISN) – CALGARY – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team struggled in the second half of the game and fell 62-51 to their Pioneer division rivals, the Calgary Dinos, on Jan. 24 at the Jack Simpson Gymnasium. The Dinos win improved their record to 9-6, while Victoria dropped back down to .500 at 7-7 on the season. With the victory, the Dinos maintain their lead ahead of the Vikes in the Pioneer standings.
Calgary’s offense was led by Kelsey Lund with a game-high of 18 points and eight rebounds, and by Claire Colborne who put up 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Victoria forward Jessica Renfrew led the Vikes with 14 points, and Jenna Bugiardini and Nicole Karstein also hit double digits, putting up 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The difference-maker in this game came in large part from rebounds, as Calgary had an enormous 50-31 advantage in that category.
“That was a huge goal because last night we didn’t get enough rebounds, so tonight that was our goal and we got it,” said Claire Colborne. “We just came out and hustled, we competed and we went after the rebounds and we played together as a team.”
The game was dominated by the Vikes early, as they got out to a 6-0 lead after the first three minutes, but the Dinos battled back with five unanswered points of their own to bring the score within one.
A big field goal from outside the arc by Vikes rookie Amira Giannattasio put Victoria up 11-7, but two quick baskets from Lund tied the score at 11. Victoria carried the play towards the end of the quarter and took a 16-11 lead after the first frame.
The two teams exchanged baskets to start the second, but a beautiful coast-to-coast lay-up from Dinos point guard Anmol Mattu tied the score at 18. Victoria started to pull away again with a huge three-pointer from Karstein narrowly beating the shot clock to put the Vikes ahead by seven. Unlike the previous night, Calgary stayed within reach as they only trailed 30-26 going into the second half.
Victoria had a quick start to the second half, extending their lead to nine points. The Dinos started to turn things around with a seven point run that brought them within two points of the Vikes.
A basket from Colborne gave the Dinos their first lead of the game with three minutes to play in the third, but Calgary ran into some foul trouble which allowed the Vikes to even the score at 41. The two teams battled out the last minutes of the third, with Calgary taking a narrow 44-43 advantage into the final frame.
The Dinos locked down their defensive zone early in the fourth quarter, with Victoria recording only one basket in the first five minutes. After the Vikes got back on the board with a basket from Jessica Renfrew, the Dinos clung to a 50-47 lead with four minutes to play.
Kelsey Lund, who had been on the bench for the beginning of the quarter due to foul trouble, took the floor with four minutes remaining and proceeded to record six consecutive points for the Dinos. With Calgary ahead 56-49 in the final two minutes, a long pass from Colborne gave Jessica Theilen a wide open lay-up to extend their lead to nine points with a minute to go. After outscoring the Vikes 36-21 in the second half, Calgary took the win by a score of 62-51.
Victoria will head home to face the Lethbridge Pronghorns on Jan. 30-31 at McKinnon Gym.